Gunners Reach Another Final

Eastern Under-21 Hurling Semi-Final

Ballygunner 0-19
Mount Sion 1-09

Brian Flannery Reports

Ballygunner qualified for the East Waterford Under-21 Hurling Final after a comfortable seven-point victory over fellow city side Mount Sion on Wednesday last. Played at the excellent St Mollerans grounds in Carrickbeg under lights, the cold and wet November’s night made good hurling difficult for both sides.
Ballygunner stamped their authority on this game early and never looked relinquishing this vice like grip. Mount Sion who narrowly got the better of Ballyduff/Portlaw in the previous round struggled to find their rhythm and managed a solitary point from play over the hour.

Evan McGrath recorded the opening score with a free after just two minutes but the eventual winners were quickly into their stride. Cormac Power saw his early goal effort rebound off the crossbar, however six points on the bounce from Michael Mahony (3), Peter Hogan (2) and Gus Flynn set the trend for the rest of the game.
Ballygunner’s central axis of Tadhg Foley, Michael Mahony, Mark Mullally and Peter Hogan dictated the flow of the game and dominated possession. Donal Power and Evan McGrath both landed further first-half points for the Monastery men but four in a row from Michael Mahony, including three frees, left Ballygunner in the ascendancy leading 0-10 to 0-03 at the interval.

Ballygunner's Mark Mullally gets away from Mount Sion's Evan McGrath

Ballygunner's Mark Mullally gets away from Mount Sion's Evan McGrath

Mount Sion improved after the break with Tommy McGrath, Donal Power, John Kennedy and Alan Kirwan all leading the charge. Despite this upturn in intensity Mount Sion were dependant on the accuracy of Evan McGrath from placed balls for all their second half scores. Mount Sion just couldn’t get close enough to put real pressure on their opponents. Michael Mahony was unerring from frees and play to keep their city rivals at arm’s length.

Fresh from his man of the match performance in the Munster club final, Peter Hogan’s extensive talents was on full show with Hogan hitting two fine points in the second half as Ballygunner maintained a substantial lead, 0-17 to 0-09 after 55 minutes. Mount Sion was thrown a lifeline when referee Noel Kelly awarded a penalty after full-forward Jonathan Flynn was pulled down in the small square. Evan McGrath expertly dispatched the penalty to the top corner of the net, 0-17 to 1-9. This proved to be just a consolation score with David Dawson and Michael Mahony adding two more late points to earn their side another final against reigning champions De La Salle.

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